/Discord over new Historic Commission appointment
City Council in gold letters on purple backgroundGraphic by Bell Jackson

Discord over new Historic Commission appointment

By Cady Inabinett

Disharmony arose between the Montevallo City Council and a member of the Montevallo Historic Preservation Commission at the council’s Jan. 10 meeting. The council moved to appoint a new member to the commission without the commission input and without placing the appointment on the meeting’s agenda. 

Greg Reece, a member of the commission, asked the council to postpone their vote to appoint a new member to board. The council planned to vote to appoint Susan Godwin to the commission at the Jan. 10 meeting, after the resignation of one of the board’s members the prior week. However, this was absent from the agenda for the meeting, as Reece pointed out. 

Reece suggested that the commission should have time to meet to discuss potential appointees. Additionally, he said, “I also think it’s in bad form for the agenda to clearly state that there are no board appointments.” 

“I have no personal objection with the person whose name I heard tonight, that’s not the issue at all,” Recce went on to say, “But, I just think it would be nice to let the Historic Commission have the chance to talk about this and maybe bring their own recommendations.” 

The council went on the appoint Godwin to the position later in the meeting. 

Council member Martha Ann Eisenberg advocated for Godwin, saying, “From her resume, I don’t think we could find anyone that would come close to being what she’s qualified to do. I think she would be a superior addition to it.” 

Council member Kenny Dukes seemed to be in favor of postponing the vote, saying, “I don’t have a problem with Ms. Godwin. I think she’s excellent and she’s qualified for the position. But I don’t even think it’s been a whole week since the gentleman resigned from the position. And I thought, if we have opportunity or timeframe, that we entertain any other nominations.” 

Following the vote, Reece addressed the council again, expressing disappointment that the council went forward with the vote even though it was not on the agenda. 

C.P. Pierson invited the council to participate in the Shelby County NAACP’s Martin Luther King, Jr. March on Jan. 17. Pierson also announced that the grand marshal of the march will be Joseph Hampton, president of Spire Gas for Alabama and Mississippi. 

The march will begin at 10 a.m. behind the McDonalds on Main Street. Marchers will walk to Montevallo High School, where there will be a program at 11 a.m. 

Montevallo resident Bob Seth addressed the council about several issues occurring in the Waterstone subdivision. First, he brought up the lack of streetlights in a section of the subdivision, saying that this has led to issues with groups of teenagers stealing and vandalizing property in the area. 

“They’re teenagers, but they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing,” Seth said. 

He also added that he believes some of the subdivision’s residents, especially its elderly residents, are intimidated by the teenagers’ behavior.  

“I’ve actually had them stop in their car as I’m walking my dog at night and say pretty rude things. And so I always walk with some kind of protection. And you shouldn’t have to do that in your own neighborhood,” he remarked. 

Seth also brought up that the bannisters on a foot bridge that runs through the subdivision are “purely rotten,” and suggested having them replaced. 

“You’re gonna have someone fall over that thing or that whole bannister is going to give away with some young person leaning over,” Seth said, “Or even an adult leaning over that bannister. It’s just rotten. I can move it back and forth eight inches.” 

The council declared Feb. 25-27 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday. During this weekend, shoppers will be able to purchase common emergency preparation supplies that cost less than $60 without sales tax. Generators that cost less than $1,000 may also be purchased without sales tax. 

The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page. Citizens may also attend the meeting in person at City Hall. 

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.